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A plan to make the web load faster will cause more controversy than you’d think

Google’s vision, in which all kinds of web pages load almost instantly, already has plenty of critics.

Backstory: Google’s AMP project was designed to make web pages load faster, so you could click through from search results to content almost instantly. It does that by cleverly pre-loading content so you don’t have to wait for files to download.

What’s new: Google announced that it’s now working with the World Wide Web Consortium, the body that oversees web standards, to turn it into a more widely used technology for anyone to use. The idea: using it in far more web pages to make them load faster.

Unhappy voices: As the Verge explains in an anlysis of this spinoff of AMP, there’s a lot of angst about the technology. Dieter Bohn writes:

By creating AMP, Google blithely walked right into the center of a thicket comprised of developers concerned about the future of the web. Publishers are worried about ceding too much control of their distribution to gigantic tech companies, and all of the above are worried that Google is not so much a steward of the web but rather its nefarious puppet master.

But: As Bohn also notes, Google’s plan is actually to take some of the underlying principles of AMP and offer them up as a standard that is then totally out of its control. In other words, it might be as bad as some people think. But read his article to make up your own mind.

Deep Dive

Computing

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Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

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